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Martin defeated David Grayton of the Washington DC franchise in Saturday's 152-pound final at the CasaBlanca Resort in Mesquite, NV. Simpson defeated Hector Colon of the Florida franchise to win the 114-pound championship.
Having enjoyed an outstanding amateur career as the most highly decorated amateur boxer in Chicago for the last several years, Martin now plans to turn professional later this year. Martin is trained by Mark Chears of Team Chears Boxing/Boxing For Boxers.
Martin defeated Montrel Wade of California, Tony Losey of the Kansas-Oklahoma franchise and Wesley Tucker of Toledo, OH to advance to the championship.
Martin, 21, was the 2011 National Golden Gloves 152-pound runner-up, the 2011 & 2012 Chicago Golden Gloves 152-pound Champion and received the 2011 Chicago Golden Gloves "Best Boxer Award." He was the USA Boxing Welterweight Silver Medalist in 2010 and 2012, and in 2009 won the National Police Athletic League 152 pound National Championship.
Martin has international experience having represented the U.S. in dual competitions versus Mexico in April 2011, China in October 2010 (in New York) and Italy in March (in Assisi and Rome, Italy) & September 2010.
Simpson defeated Hector Valdez of Texas, Jesus Cerda of Wisconsin and Ja'rico O'quinn of Detroit to advance to the final. Simpson is trained by 1996 Olympic Heavyweight Bronze Medalist Nate Jones, who is part of pound-for-pound champion and former Olympic teammate Floyd Mayweather's training team.
Simpson, 18, a senior at Chicago Vocational High School, is the reigning National Police Athletic League 114-pound National Champion and won the Chicago Golden Gloves 114-pound championship in 2011 & 2012. Simpson was named the Chicago Golden Gloves "Best Boxer" in 2012 and in 2009 was the Junior Olympic National Flyweight Champion.
Mensah, 29 received this ranking as a result of his thrilling upset of former Australian Olympian and two-time Lightweight World Champion Michael Katsidis at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas on Friday, April 13. The bout was televised nationally on espn2's Friday Night Fights series and positions Mensah for even bigger bouts later in 2012.
"Now that I have won a big fight on national television I am ready for an even bigger challenge. I want to perform at the highest level of the sport, continue to be on television, and do big events to the Chicago area so that sports fans in Joliet and Chicago can see big-time boxing," commented Mensah.
ESPN's Dan Rafael wrote that Mensah " . . . did a superb job countering Katsidis and firing back . . . dominated the last couple of rounds" against Katsidis, whom Rafael described as . . . "one of the true warriors in boxing for years and one of the most crowd-pleasing fighters in modern history."
Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that Mensah " . . . effectively countered off the ropes . . . was the stronger fighter, and Katsidis had a hard time hurting him."
Former Ring Magazine editor-in-chief Nigel Collins tweeted on the Friday Night Fights feed that Mensah's victory was a "Great fight!" and declared "No question about it: Best show so far this season on Friday Night Fights."
With the victory, Mensah moves to 25 career wins against only three defeats and one draw. This was only Mensah's second fight in the United States after relocating to Joliet from Ghana. He also retains his IBF International Championship title with the win.
Mensah is trained by Joseph Awinongya of the Will County Boxing Gym. "This was a fight that nobody thought Albert would win. But I know that he can beat anybody in the world at 140 pounds," said Awinongya.
Awinongya also trains Middleweight World Title contender Osumanu Adamu. Mensah and Adamu are managed by Wasfi Tolaymat of the Chicago Fight Club.
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